By Anna Barker
Season 3, Episode 1 of “Black Mirror” was my first time watching the show. I was not sure what to expect going into it. Within the first five minutes, I knew it was going to be completely different than I could have imagined.
At first, I did not think I was going to like it at all, and that I was going to have to miserably power through those next 55 minutes. However, I ended up becoming completely engrossed in the show. The whole idea and concept of this series are beyond my creativity and imagination.
The show accurately depicts the way technology has ultimately taken over people’s lives and will continue to as technology advances in the future. My overall reaction to this episode was awestruck, yet confused at the same time. Many parts of the episode were quite strange, which in a way, made it that much more unique and entertaining.
The main character, Lacie, goes through many changes in the show. The woman she is at the beginning of the episode is not the same woman by the end. At first, she is so obsessed with her ranking and what people think of her, she convinces herself she is happy with this lifestyle and that the higher her ranking is, the happier she will be, like her friend Naomi.
When her plan to up her ranking at Naomi’s wedding by wowing everyone with her speech fails, she has an outright mental breakdown, causing her to go to jail, eliminating all technology. After her technology is taken from her, she realizes how free she feels, which is how the episode ends.
In many ways, I think we as people, especially female college students, can relate to Lacie in this episode. Whether it’s Instagram, Snapchat, or even Facebook, we crave the approval of others. When we don’t get this approval, we don’t know what to do with ourselves. This creates stress and anxiety, which is exactly what led Lacie to go absolutely crazy.
In this futuristic technological world, people are judged based on their ranking. For example, Lacie was not allowed to get a spot on the plane because her ranking was barely .2 points below the required ranking. I believe this concept symbolizes the way we judge people based on their social status, financial status, looks, etc.
The people on the show with the highest rankings tended to be more attractive, wealthier, and with outgoing, bubbly, fake personalities. When Lacie meets a woman with a significantly lower ranking, she automatically assumes the worst about this person.
It turned out that this woman was real and genuine. She claimed to have had a higher ranking in the past, but only because she fixated her life on it. Once she gave up and lived her own life, she was much happier, despite her seemingly low ranking.
This relates to today’s society in many ways. Those who are obsessed with being popular and liked by others can never truly be happy because they are insecure and unhappy with themselves. That was Lacie’s biggest struggle throughout the episode and is many girls’ biggest struggles in today’s world.
In a way, I could see some of myself in Lacie. I find myself addicted to social media and caring about how many likes or comments I get on a post. After watching this episode, it makes me want to step back and decompress from the stress that comes with technology and social media. It also makes me want to continue watching the show. I am very excited to continue this series.